Skip to main content

Trinity_Citizen_Album_Cover3600Trin­ity Roots



When beloved Wel­ling­ton group Trin­ity Roots ral­lied them­selves for a series of reunion con­certs in 2010, it became clear that the pub­lic weren’t that keen to let them drift away into the fog again. Five years and sev­er­al small line-up changes later, they unveil their third prop­er album.

Driv­en by the core team of War­ren Max­well (lead vocals/guitar), Rio Hemopo (back­ing vocals/bass) and Ben Wood (back­ing vocals/guitar/drums), Cit­izen sees Trin­ity Roots mak­ing it clear that while they were often described as a roots or dub band in their early 2000s hey­day, that was nev­er quite the case. Chan­nel­ling a sound some­what closer to soul­ful pro­gress­ive rock, the ten songs on Cit­izen ripple with subtle touches of cine­mat­ic funk, psy­che­del­ica, mod­ern folk and vin­tage sci-fi syn­thes­iser swirls.

With acclaimed country/rockabilly sing­er Tami Neilson turn­ing in a stel­lar per­form­ance on ‘Vil­lage Man’, and the strident Ria Hall passing through with a kapa haka group on ‘Bully’, Trin­ity con­tin­ue their tra­di­tion of pla­cing tal­en­ted female vocal­ists of the day in star­ring roles. But best of all, the rich group vocal arrange­ments and socially sym­path­et­ic lyr­ic­al touches that char­ac­ter­ised their early works are still on dis­play. Old ideas mixed with new blood, sweat and tears.


Mel Parsons - Drylands PackshotMel Par­sons


(Cape Road Recordings)


Dry­lands, the second album by Auck­land-based singer/songwriter Mel Par­sons, is the sound of hard out­door work, rur­al per­sist­ence and an all-defy­ing com­mit­ment to song­craft. Detailed by drum tracks that gal­lop like horses across plains, lush group vocals and Amer­ic­ana/alt-coun­try ref­er­en­cing melod­ies, Dry­lands’ 13-song run­ning time sparks with warm humanity.

Work­ing with co-pro­du­cer Gerry Paul, Mel has craf­ted a space where eleg­ant head-nod instru­ment­a­tion sparkles with sing-along storytelling depth. In recent years, she has put con­sid­er­able effort into tour­ing over­seas, while still fit­ting in an extens­ive loc­al per­form­ance sched­ule, and it’s pay­ing off. This could be the album that takes her further.


coverDeath and the Maiden


(Fishrider Records)


This is cer­tainly some­thing. Short, but per­fectly formed, the self-titled debut album of Duned­in dark­wave trio Death and the Maid­en is an exer­cise in put­ting songs into dance music, and dance music into songs. Over shady elec­tron­ic rhythms, hyp­not­ic after-mid­night gui­tar fig­ures, twitchy syn­thes­isers and syr­upy bass lines, lead vocal­ist Lucinda King deploys her weight­less yet res­ol­ute singing voice. Float­ing through lyr­ic­al explor­a­tions of love and loss, she lets her­self drift like a fly­ing drone on sur­veil­lance duties in a dysto­pia not that far away. While singles ‘Dear ____’ and ‘Flowers For the Blind’ will hook most listen­ers in, you should really stay for the full experience.


DATM_Front_SmallMary Briefcase

Whis­per of the Sheba Dawn

(Epic Sweep/Lingering Sound)


In 1982, under­ground New Zea­l­and music legend Mal­colm Pickup released an album titled Whis­per of the Sheba Dawn as Mary Briefcase via the extremely obscure New Age Records. While Mal­colm had a back­ground in punk rock, the Mary Briefcase pro­ject saw him rub­bing evoc­at­ive gui­tar work (and some­times reedy vocals) against richly tex­tured sci-fi syn­thes­iser soundscapes.

Tap­ping into a sim­il­ar sense of key­board futur­ism as that accessed by the likes of Van­gel­is and Yel­low Magic Orches­tra, Malcolm’s songs on Whis­per of the Sheba Dawn pulse with a noise stance. The album’s recent reis­sue by Epic Sweep/Lingering Sound is long overdue.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.